India is the 2nd country having the highest population in terms of ‘World Population’. With such a huge population the need for health insurance plans is sparingly high. Additionally, apart from having the largest population, India is one of the fastest-growing economies across the globe, but the flip side to this is that India is a home to many diseases, but thanks to advanced medical intervention many of the ailments in India are now treatable but many of these treatments cause a hole in the pocket.
Health Insurance policies come to rescue to cover the expenses of medical treatment in India. Many people avail health insurance coverage offered by their respective employers; however, it is not a permanent solution as job switching is common, therefore, the benefits offered by the employer only during employment tenure. Hence availing an independent health insurance plan is important to secure medical needs.
Reasons for insurance companies to buckle up for improved health insurance options for Indians
India is a land of fast-paced life resulting in a very stressful living conditions that result in major health conditions. Following are the reasons for insurance companies to offer improved health insurance options to fellow Indians:
- Low Penetration: The health insurance system is very fragmented making it less accessible and more expensive. The less accessibility of the health insurance policies across the nation makes it important for all the health insurance sector to introduce new companies along with new health insurance options for Indians that can be easily accessed and availed.
- Less spending by the government: the Indian government has been the lowest spender in the healthcare sector, which has opened the door for private players. Health insurance companies can be competitive in terms of making available various health insurance options for their Indian customers.
- Unstructured: We all know the Indian government’s contribution to the health care sector has been getting structured in recent days but with the presence of a huge population and a high number of the low-income group making health insurance plans available for everyone is a difficult task. Private or Public health insurance providing companies offering options for people across various income strata can help to overcome the deficit between population vs. health insurance cover.
- Lack of Cover: Lack of adequate health insurance cover by the government healthcare sector in India has resulted in many Indians opting for health insurance policies from private health insurance providers. But the availability of affordable private health insurance providers in India is scarce. Therefore, the establishment of various health insurance providing companies and introducing a range of health insurance options will help Indians to protect themselves financially in times of medical emergency and keep the health of the nation strong.
The health insurance sector has always faced a shortage of options in terms of competition. Other sectors of the Indian economy like the oil, pharmaceuticals, banking, finance, etc. have witness competitions from within the sector. Every sector in the Indian economy has various players that help all the industry players to be ahead in their game. Additionally, an internal competition within the sector helps every competitor to improve their strategies, increase the quality of the products introduced by them, increase the company’s efficiency towards customer service and customer satisfaction. Internal sectorial competition spurs product innovation and helps to keep an eye on the cost or eventually helps in driving the costs down. Thus, if internal competition between the key plays of the sectors can help spur the sector and eventually economy, then the health insurance sector must be no exception.
The health insurance sector has not challenged itself therefore it is time to catalyse competition spurred from internal players of this sector. The health insurance can catalyse and accelerate the competition by creating positive changes as under:
- Patients first: the health insurance providers need to keep patients as their priority. Till date, the medical caregiver i.e. the hospital or physician was important for companies as health insurance providers tie-up with them to provide services, but due to this, the affordability of the health insurance plans took a back-seat. Therefore, the most important factor to catalyse the competition within health insurance providers is to change their perspective and make their health insurance options reach customers and make them available to various healthcare providers.
- Create Choice: It is important for all health insurance providers to get associated with various hospitals, physicians, pathology labs, etc. and create choices for its customers. if a certain hospital is not addressing a patient then health insurance providers must step-in to provide choices. This redressal system or structured way of addressing the needs of the customer will help in steering competition and also provide for top-notch products and services to Indians.
- Standardize payment structure: All insurance providers, both public and private, must avail a standardized payment method for insurance coverage i.e. the cost of paying for all covered and specified illnesses must be the same. An unstructured payment system causes unwarranted competition.
Thus, competition is healthy as it brings out the best in people as well as in business. The competition gives a fair chance to everyone who is ready to thrive and serve people.